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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING – Senate Ds Can’t Rattle DeVos (Vol. XII)

The info flow coming out of last night’s hearing showed that despite their best efforts, Senate Democrats could not shake Betsy DeVos. Here’s the most relevant commentary that shows how DeVos proved that she’s ready to lead the Dept. of Education:

Forbes’ Maureen Sullivan: “Senate Democrats Can’t Rattle Betsy DeVos On Education Issues”

“Democratic senators tried their best to rattle Betsy DeVos at her confirmation hearing to be Education Secretary on Tuesday, but she glided serenely through the process. ‘Nothing in life is truly free,’ she sweetly said to Bernie Sanders (I-VT) when the former Democratic presidential candidate brought up his proposal to make public colleges ‘tuition free.’ …

None of the Republicans on the committee gave DeVos much trouble and it seems likely that she will get the necessary votes next week to take the job. The frustration was evident among the Democrats, who saw their eight years of control over the department slipping away.”

Townhall’s Matt Vespa: DeVos “was able to send some truth towards Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the proceedings.”

Newsweek’s Alexander Nazaryan: “Projecting optimism and competence while downplaying past ideological affiliations, Betsy DeVos argued before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday that she will be a capable and fair custodian of the nation’s schools as the federal education secretary. Calling herself a ‘crusader for parents and students,’ DeVos returned frequently in her remarks to school choice, an issue she has championed in her native Michigan. She also sought to reassure the committee’s Democratic members, with limited success, that neither her Christian faith nor her family’s vast wealth would factor into the decisions she’ll be expected to make on behalf of millions of children.”

Jeb Bush: “Betsy DeVos showed today why she is a hero of the education reform movement. She passionately articulated the case for school choice and parental control and expressed a deep commitment to children, especially at-risk students who are the biggest victims of failing K-12 schools. Betsy DeVos will take on the entrenched special interests in American education that have put the interests of adults ahead of school children for too long. Our experience in Florida proves that expanded school choice, coupled with strong accountability measures, delivers great results for kids. Betsy DeVos will work to shift power and money back to states and parents so innovation and reform can flourish in America.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): I support @BetsyDeVos’ nomination, because every child deserves a good education regardless of their zip code or how much money they have.”

Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ): “@BetsyDeVos is an A+ selection to bring new energy, leadership and reform to American public education.”

National Review’s Heather Wilhelm: “If the horror show surrounding DeVos’s nomination is any indication, there’s a lot at stake in the school-choice wars. But when it comes down to it, for most people, failing or unjust schools are a heck of a lot scarier than devout Christians with a penchant for charitable giving. When it comes to expanding educational opportunities, simply shouting ‘The Christians are coming! The Christians are coming!’ probably isn’t going to fly. Let’s hope it doesn’t.”

Michigan Association of Public School Academies President Dan Quisenberry: “Betsy DeVos clearly outlined an agenda that puts students first. She articulated her belief that every child deserves a quality education in a quality school, and that parents need to have a choice in making that goal a reality. It was disheartening to hear some of the false narrative repeated in regards to charter school oversight and performance in Michigan and Detroit, but Mrs. DeVos did an excellent job of clarifying the facts. We know that educational outcomes need to be improved across the board, and we heard Betsy DeVos say she believes the same thing.”

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI): “Betsy DeVos’ heart for children, reform-minded vision, and deep knowledge of education issues shined through at today’s confirmation hearing. The entire country was able to see what those of us who worked with her in Michigan already know: Betsy DeVos will put students first and empower parents to choose the best pathway for their children. Under Betsy’s leadership, we can restore decision-making authority to the local level and open the doors of opportunity for every student in America. The Senate should act swiftly to confirm her nomination.”

Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel: “It is very clear that Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos is a qualified and a bold choice who puts the needs of students and parents first. DeVos’ past support for public education and parental school choice and her record of accomplishment is outstanding. Her career has been spent advocating for putting students first, standing up to the status quo that allows too many kids to fall through the cracks, and advocating for disadvantaged children. I am proud to support Betsy DeVos’ confirmation and I hope the Senate will move quickly to fulfill this appointment.”

Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley: “As Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos will put our kids’ needs first while creating an education system that helps all children succeed. The one-size-fits-all approach to education leaves too many children behind and Betsy understands the need to add innovative education solutions into our classrooms. President-elect Trump made the best choice for our children by nominating Betsy DeVos. I’m proud to join with leaders from all across our country to support her nomination and encourage the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to ensure a swift confirmation process.”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Elise Jordan: DeVos getting a bad wrap from Democratic senators beholden to the teachers unions.

SCARBOROUGH: “And as we talk about money, it’s a very fair question what Bernie Sanders asked Betsy DeVos but it’s also very fair to bring up the point the reason why all of those Democratic senators were sitting in their chairs is the teachers union is one of the largest cash cows for the Democratic Party and one of the largest cash cows for every one of those Democratic senators who politely sat in their chairs instead of asking a question and leaving. Is that safe to say?” ELISE JORDAN: “I think that is pretty safe to say. And I also think Betsy DeVos has gotten a bad wrap. She has been pretty mainstream in her educational reform views and I think because of her family’s wealth is more of an attack than it should be. And she really has spent decades on the front lines of the fight for education reform and maybe the school reforms that happened in Michigan aren’t exactly what she would want but Florida is kind of her model state so I would put her in the camp of a Jeb Bush education reformer. And, also, she — you know, really, I think the religious elements that some Democrats have put on her and — because her family is known to be a wealthy donor family and very religious and saying she is pushing that agenda and it just hasn’t quite frankly been true.”

The Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey: DeVos “… deflected the most uneasy thrust of questioning — and surprised some Democratic senators — by distancing herself from donations given by her family to groups that support conversion therapy for gays and lesbians.”

Red State’s Kira Davis: “DeVos was poised and polite throughout her hearing despite being frequently interrupted by senators like Bernie Sanders and Al Franken. She reminded America that education belongs to all of us, parents deserve to be involved in the educational decisions for their children, and above all things, the students of America are who matters most.”

The Hill’s Lisa Hagen: “DeVos vowed during the three-and-a-half-hour confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee that she would be an advocate for public education while defending her support for school choice and charter schools.”

Real Clear Politics’ Christopher Beach: “DeVos Withstands Pointed Questioning On Education”

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